|New director appointed at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center|
|August 20, 2013|
Norman ("Ned") Sharpless, MD, will become the third director of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, effective Jan. 1, 2014. He succeeds H. Shelton ("Shelley") Earp, MD, who became deputy director of the cancer center in 1985 and director in 1997.
Sharpless, a Morehead Scholar and honors graduate of UNC and the UNC School of Medicine, is Wellcome Distinguished Professor of Cancer Research, professor of medicine and genetics, and UNC Lineberger's deputy director.
A practicing medical oncologist trained at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital, he leads a well-funded, 20-person cancer research laboratory. His program uses genetically engineered mouse models to study cancer and aging.
He also is an inventor, with 12 patents that form the core intellectual property for two Research Triangle (N.C.) start-up companies he co-founded.
In a statement announcing the change of leadership, William Roper, MD, MPH, dean of the School of Medicine, called Sharpless "an outstanding clinician, nationally recognized researcher and scientific entrepreneur" and predicted Sharpless would "lead UNC Lineberger to even greater accomplishments in its second half-century." Roper is also UNC's vice chancellor for medical affairs and chief executive officer of the UNC Health Care System.
Nearly 50 faculty members at Gillings School of Global Public Health are members and researchers at the UNC cancer center. The long-standing collaboration between the center and school has resulted in research and application that have made significant impact on the lives and health of North Carolinians across the state.
"We are deeply indebted to Dr. Shelley Earp for all that he has done to build our cancer center," said Kurt Ribisl, PhD, health behavior professor and program leader for cancer prevention and control at UNC Lineberger. "His leadership in working with the N.C. General Assembly to establish the University Cancer Research Fund has provided funding to recruit dozens of public health faculty in recent years. Dr. Sharpless is a wise choice for continued excellence, and he will be a great partner with the Gillings School."
Andrew Olshan, PhD, professor and chair of epidemiology at the School and UNC Lineberger's associate director for population sciences, noted that the cancer center's population sciences group is largely comprised of faculty members from the Gillings School.
"The collaborative behavioral, epidemiological and outcomes research led by our faculty is considered one of the nationally recognized strengths of our cancer center," Olshan said. "Ned is an accomplished transdisciplinary scientist and will continue Dr. Earp's exceptional support for the population sciences. We look forward to developing even stronger collaborative research programs across the school and center in coming years."
Barbara K. Rimer, DrPH, dean of the Gillings School and its Alumni Distinguished Professor of health behavior, said that UNC Lineberger has benefited from "extraordinary leadership and stability in Drs. Pagano and Earp."
"At many cancer centers, population health is an afterthought," Rimer said, "but here, that is not the case. Shelley Earp is one of the most highly regarded cancer center directors in the country, and I am so grateful to him. Ned [Sharpless] is the right person to carry on the great Pagano/Earp leadership tradition, with his clinical, entrepreneurial and basic science credentials and his North Carolina roots. We look forward to working with him."
Earp will continue as director of UNC Cancer Care, a role in which he coordinates cancer care and research across the School of Medicine, the University and UNC Health Care System.
Joseph Pagano, MD, served as founding director of the cancer center from 1975 to 1997.
Read more about Sharpless on the UNC Lineberger website.
|Last updated August 21, 2013|